Do people frequently ask if you are tired, but you are not? Towards the end of the day do your eyelids seem heavy? Is there excess skin around the upper outer aspect of your eyelids that is blocking your vision? Do you wish that your eyes had a more refreshed look?
As we all age, the skin around our eyelids start to descend, and the supporting tissue weaken leading to hooding around the eyelids. As this occurs, the fat around the eyelids may drop down around the upper eyelids or protrude in the lower eyelids. The end result may be a tired appearance or making one look older. If that sagging is severe enough it may cause one’s vision to be compromised. Blepharoplasty (BLEF-uh-ro-plas-tee) corrects hooding of the upper eyelids by removing excess skin, and fat.
You might consider blepharoplasty if this drooping or sagging keeps your eyes from opening completely or pull your lower eyelids down. Removing excess tissue from your upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both can improve vision and make your eyes appear younger and more alert. Many patients are satisfied with their results because others comment that they appear well rested or more youthful; thus giving the patient more self-confidence.
To determine if you are a good candidate for a blepahroplasty, during your consultation at Elite Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Dr. Chattar-Cora will ask you what your expectations are. He will review your medical history and focus on any eye problems, your medication list if you take any and examine you. He will then review with you the various procedures and their associated risks and benefits so that you and he can choose a procedure that will realistically meet your expectations. During your evaluation you may discover that all you need is something as simple as BOTOX® to treat the “crows feet,” small fine wrinkles on the outside of your eyes.
Blepharoplasty may be an option if you have:
- Excess skin of the upper eyelid that interferes with your vision
- Droopy lower eyelids, which may cause white to show below the iris (colored part of the eye)
- Excess skin on lower eyelids
- Bags under your eyes
How is the procedure done?
Blepharoplasty is usually done on an outpatient basis. Depending on your particular situation and choice it could be done under local anesthesia where Dr. Chattar-Cora administers a local anesthetic; however if you are having several procedures or if you would prefer, general anesthesia may be used for your procedure.
How long is the procedure?
Blepharoplasty usually takes about one hour, depending on the amount and location of tissue being removed. Afterward you spend time in the recovery room, where you are monitored to ensure that you are safe to go home.
After the procedure
After blepharoplasty a lubricating ointment will be applied to your eyes to protect them and prevent dryness. The ointment may cause temporary blurred vision. You may also experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to light and double vision just after the surgery. Your incisions will be red and visible at first, and your eyelids may be puffy and feel numb for several days. Swelling and bruising are usually minimal but may last for a week. Ice packs or cold compresses applied to your eyes and keeping your head elevated can help reduce swelling.
Pain is usually minimal. Dr. Chattar-Cora will give you a prescription pain medication however over the counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be all that you need. Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and any other medications or herbal supplements that may increase bleeding.
For a week after the surgery take the following precautions, unless advised otherwise by Dr. Chattar-Cora:
- Avoid straining, heavy lifting and swimming
- Avoid strenuous activities, such as aerobics, jogging or contact activities
- Wear sunglasses to protect the skin of your eyelids from sun and wind
- Sleep with your head raised higher than your chest
- Follow Dr. Chattar-Cora’s instructions regarding cleansing your eyelids and the use of eyedrops or ointments.
- Seek medical attention immediately if you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, an unusual heart rate, new pain, bleeding or visual disturbance.
If stitches were used, they’ll be removed after three or four days.
Are there any risks?
As with any surgery, blepharoplasty carries some risks, such as bleeding and infection. Other possible risks specific to this surgery include:
- Temporary numbness of the eyelid skin
- Dry, irritated eyes
- Temporary vision changes, such as double vision
- Impaired eyelid function
- Scarring that causes difficulty opening and closing the eyelids
- Injury to eye muscles
- Scars from the incisions may take six months or longer to fade. Take care to protect your delicate eyelid skin from too much sun exposure during this time
How soon can I return to normal activity?
It is recommended that you take one week off from work. You are allowed to shower the next day after surgery and drive a car within three to five days if you are not taking prescription pain medications.
What will it cost?
The cost of blepharoplasty in San Antonio varies based on the type of blepharoplasty chosen and the cost of any additional surgery. We offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask. The cost may include the following:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Anesthesia fees
For your blepharoplasty Elite Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery is the right place to call. Dr. Chattar-Cora will consult with you on all aspects of the procedure, including cost. Most health insurance plans will not cover cosmetic blepharoplasty surgery, or related complications. You must carefully review your health insurance policy. Your satisfaction involves more than a fee. When choosing a plastic surgeon for your blepharoplasty, remember that your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery. Dr Chattar-Cora takes his time to understand your goals and desire for the best long term outcome.